Managing Email with Effective Email Strategies
Most of us have experienced frustration related to misplacing our car keys, an important file or a recently-purchased gift. Even more frustrating is replacing the item because we just can’t locate it. Research has shown the average person spends 150 hours each year looking for misplaced information. That amounts to nearly four work weeks!
Disorganization carries a high price at times. It wreaks havoc with our emotional well-being, causes stress in our homes and relationships, and sometimes even gets in the way of job opportunities.
By taking measures to protect against the threat of disorganization you’ll be insuring that your work space is functional, efficient and peaceful. One key area most would admit to battling is the daily onslaught of Email.
While there’s no argument email has improved the way we do business, it has definitely brought complications with its sheer volume and potential for interruptions. It is not uncommon for office employees to receive/send 100+ Emails each day. Here are a few tips in managing Email:
- Allow yourself 15-20 minutes at the start of each day to skim over your To-Do List for that day, reviewing timeframes of what absolutely needs to get done. This will be a fresh reminder of the projects that need your attention so you’ll be less apt to waste time with things like Email.
- Try to limit the amount of times you check your Email to four to six times each day. For those of us belonging to Email Anonymous, this is easier said than done. Checking your Email at key times of the day – mid morning, prior to lunch, early afternoon, mid-afternoon and finally about thirty minutes before leaving the office – will guard the time that needs to be focused on other projects.
- When reading your Email, make decisions quickly on as many as possible. Your options include: Reply, Delete, File, Forward, or Schedule.
- Shut off any type of instant messaging service or notifier that lets you know you’ve got a new Email message. A little balloon pop-up in the lower right corner of your screen can be likened to a toddler pulling on your pant leg. They don’t stop until they get your attention. Interruptions lower productivity levels whether they come from individuals or Email notifications.
- Set up appropriate folders in your Email Management Program. Making quicker decisions on Email will be easier once you have the proper folders established. Clicking and dragging an Email to its rightful home will be quick and easy, allowing you to retrieve it when you need it.
- If you’re pressed for storage space in your Email Management Program, consider saving necessary and important Emails and attachments as documents on your personal drive. You will still need to delete the Email from your Inbox once you’ve saved items. Before saving Emails in this way, check with your IT Department regarding any company policies addressing this practice.
While it’s difficult to put a price on efficiency and organization, we all realize the benefits of getting to appointments on time, being able to locate a client’s file, or knowing what’s for dinner at the end of the day. When there’s less chaos, there’s less anxiety and stress…at home and at work.
Managing your Email is an important element in being able to experience an efficient workplace. As you develop systems to keep you organized on a daily basis, you will be able to Transform your life, not just your space®.
Audrey Thomas, known by most as Organized Audrey, specializes in helping people increase their productivity. As a speaker, author, and Lean Office expert she has authored several products including: Buried Alive! Surviving the Avalanche of Paper and E-mail and 50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter. She can be reached at Audrey@OrganizedAudrey.com or 866-767-0455.We offer this article on a nonexclusive basis. You may reprint or repost this material as long as Audrey Thomas' name and bio paragraph are included.